My relationship with alcohol started from around the age of fifteen and was fairly normal in that I was allowed to have a shandy or two at family events. My mum’s thinking was that she’d prefer me drinking in a safe environment at home, instead of buying cheap booze and sit drinking in the park with my friends. Sadly, like most teenagers, I still ended up doing exactly that.
I think my earliest memory of being tipsy was after our school prom, aged sixteen, when a few of us managed to get hold of some large bottles of Smirnoff Ice and WKD. There was nothing particularly groundbreaking about my drinking; I drank the same amount as everyone else and slept over my friend’s house. It was pretty standard.
A year later, I went to fashion college in London. My world turned upside down when I met someone who, in hindsight, properly introduced me to alcohol. One night after college, he took me to a bar he knew would serve us, despite knowing we were under age. Before I knew it, the first bottle was gone and we ordered another, only this time, the moment the wine hit the back of my throat, my body decided I’d had enough and brought the whole lot back up again. If only that were the end of my relationship with alcohol.
Things then went up a gear or five. I left college early as landed myself a job in a fashion and beauty PR agency. Alcohol then became a firm fixture … think Absolutely Fabulous! I was suddenly surrounded by stylists, models, fashion designers, A list celebrities, Z list celebrities and even the Olsen twins at one point. Most industries love alcohol but the fashion PR industry is a whole other level because guess what? It’s free!
Most events I attended were sponsored by an alcohol brand, and if they weren’t, I would always know someone who could get me free drinks. This meant a never-ending supply of alcohol and I certainly wasn’t going to turn that down!
My attendance at work began to suffer and by nineteen, I’d lost approximately four mobile phones, two wallets and some huge chunks of dignity. Around that time, I had what could only be described as a complete physical and mental breakdown; it turns out the toll of extensive drinking and partying in the name of fashion doesn’t sit well with your body.
The next few years are a haze. Something had changed and now the sole purpose of drinking was to get very drunk. Week after week, I would find myself in spine-tingling situations because I was tanked up. I still can’t think of some of those situations now.
After a couple of years living away from home, I moved back to my parents aged twenty three. I vividly remember them sitting me down to tell me they thought I had a problem with alcohol. To be very clear, I didn’t drink every day but when I drank, I DRANK. I told them I was no different to any other twenty-three year old and closed the case by storming up to my bedroom. Mature, I know.
The next two years were a repetition of me making the same mistakes over and over again until I found myself in a relationship. Yes, at the ripe old age of twenty-five, I’d finally found someone who was willing to put up with me!
When I look back now, there were warning signs about my/our drinking from the start. It wasn’t just the normal drinks when socialising; it became a bottle of wine a night. Over the two and a half years we spent together, it then increased to three or four bottles.
By the end of our relationship I’d gained four inches on my waist, my face was puffy, my teeth were stained from red wine and any sleep I got was alcohol induced. I genuinely believe that if I’d stayed in that relationship, I would have been seriously ill and unemployed by now.
After my relationship broke down, I moved back home (again), hit the ‘fuck it’ button and partied solidly for 6 months because I was single. Here’s a list of some of the things that happened:
• One winter’s night, I went out, spent all my money, missed the last train home and slept on a bench outside a train station in the freezing cold
• I spent £300 on an Uber to somewhere outside of London
• I told the CMO of the company I worked for where I thought the company was going wrong (incidentally, it did go into administration around the same time)
• I met a random person on the train home (drunk) and brought them back to my apartment. My flatmate was NOT impressed
• I fell asleep on a train and woke up at the end of the line, only to find out the trains were then out of service
• I reached the limit on my credit card and didn’t pay balance in time so the card defaulted. I’m still on a payment plan to clear it now
The list could go on, but one by one, these things contributed to my rock bottom. Finally, following the passing of my grandad, I started to take a long hard look at myself and really questioned who I was.
Around this time, I had noticed that my friend Sammie was sharing her story on Instagram about practising mindful drinking. I messaged her and we got talking. She recommended listening to the Love Sober podcast and reading ‘The Unexpected Joy Of Being Sober’ by Catherine Gray
By 1 October 2018, I had decided to reduce my alcohol consumption and to only drink on planned occasions. I drank twice more but when I woke up on the 9 October 2018 with the worst hangover known to man (and trust me, I should know), I knew I was done for good.
Choosing to go sober isn’t easy, especially when you’re 28 years old and have recently joined a media and entertainment company, but it is so worth it.
My life has changed in ways I never thought possible. I’ve got more friends than ever, much more energy, I sleep better, I have more money, I’m kinder and more importantly, sobriety has made me realise how powerful I am and no one can take that away from me.
Since becoming sober, my friend Kate and I have created something I am SO proud of called @thesobermillennials. We’re tearing up the rule book and helping sober and sober-curious people connect through monthly events.
Thank you for taking the time to read my story and please don’t hesitate contact me through the links below if I can help you in any way on your journey.
Written by Scott, edited by Sober Fish
Scott – Instagram – @theboywhodranktoo
Love Sober Podcast – Instagram @love.sober
Scott & Kate – Instagram @thesobermillennials
Scott & Kate e-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org
To buy ‘The Unexpected Joy of Being Sober’ by Catherine Gray, please go to
and to follow on Instagram – @unexpectedjoyof
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